Germany was named the best country in the world on Wednesday. The results of a new Best Countries project were released during the 2016 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. According to the U.S. News & World Report, Germany is the best country in the world out of a list of the top 10.
Since the early 1980s, the U.S. News & World Report has been known for ranking schools, hospitals, and automobiles. However, the publication recently partnered with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of Business to figure out which country out of nearly 200 countries worldwide is the best country. Nine sub-rankings were used to determine an overall ranking.
Global performance was determined based on how each country measured up in terms of adventure, citizenship, cultural influence, entrepreneurship, heritage, economy, business-friendliness, international power, and quality of life. U.S. News says they were only the publisher of the analysis, giving most of the credit for the year-long survey and data collection to their collaborators.
John Gerzema, Chairman and CEO for BAV Consulting, said the study really only looked at 60 countries. Gerzema agrees that there really is no singularly best country but hopes countries can learn from each other through sharing of the data collected. Globally, 16,000 citizens were surveyed to ultimately determine Germany is the best country in the world out of the nine different categories used.
But why was Germany ranked number one best country worldwide? According to Politico, Germany won the top spot because of its economy and world influence. Even though Germany does have one of the largest economies in the world, leading with imports and exports, citizens ranked Germany highest in entrepreneurship, saying Germany provides easy access to capital needed to build and grow a business.
Germany scored lowest on adventure because it’s not considered a sexy or fun country, according to the report. It’s true that Germany didn’t come close to beating out Brazil in tourism, but Germany’s stable economy also makes it one of the most powerful countries in the world, having strong international alliances and political power.
Simon Anholt, a co-producer of the Best Countries report, believes Germany was named best country in the world because the surveys were taken shortly after Germany won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
“Germany appears to have benefited not only from the sports prowess it displayed on the world stage at the FIFA World Cup championship, but also by solidifying its perceived leadership in Europe through a robust economy and steady political stewardship.”
Apparently, Germany needed the football win after slipping sharply in public opinion that same year.
But the U.S. still remains the most powerful country in the world, even though it ranked 4th overall as the best country in the world.
“How a nation is perceived outside its borders is critical to its success,” said Martin Sorrell, the chief executive officer of WPP, BAV Consulting’s parent company.
The U.S. actually beat out Germany for five years in a row in Anholt-GfK’s annual Nation Brands Index, which determines the reputation of a country based on 20,000 surveys taken in 20 countries. The Best Countries report only ranked Germany number four in power with U.S. at number one. The U.S. also ranked well in entrepreneurship and cultural influence but not well enough to beat out Germany.
Canada earned best quality of life status, with Italy taking richest tradition. A complete rundown of the top 10 best countries in the world list puts Germany at the top, followed by Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Australia, Japan, France, The Netherlands, and Denmark coming in last.
Touted as where life’s decisions are made, the U.S. News & World Report hopes people will visit the Best Countries website frequently. According to Brian Kelly, U.S. News Editor and Chief Content Officer, new stories, videos, photographs, and data will be published daily on Germany as the best country in the world, as well as all the other countries included in Best Countries and why one country is any better than another.
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